Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »
In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
Artist Jimmy Hudson (Cary Grant) is stuck in Mexico unable to pay his hotel bill. Meanwhile, Louise Fuller (Grace Moore) opera singer is stuck in the same town unable to return to the US ... See full summary »
This one is tough to honestly evaluate. On the one hand you have Grace Moore and her wonderful voice, able and adequate supporting roles, notably by the always reliable and graceful Frieda Inescort, Franchot Tone and Walter Connoly, and of course Sternberg's direction. For me at least that's reason enough to watch any movie, even this one which in some ways is an utter disaster. On the other there's just too much silliness, foolishness and Herman Bing. He can be aggravating enough even in small doses but he does way too much of that trademark tongue rolling and quaking of his for my taste.
And then there's the ages of the real Sisi (Moore's character, Elisabeth of Bavaria) and Franz Josef (Tone's character). When Sisi married Franz Josef she was 16 and he 24, not 40 and 30, the ages of Moore and Tone respectively. Even given the generous poetic license the producers took with the real story which is nothing if not tragic, there's only one way to look at this movie. It is nothing more than a vehicle for Grace Moore. And maybe that's reason enough to watch it.
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